Mr. Martin Kostuik reports
BATTERY MINERAL RESOURCES CONTINUES TO DELIVER ENCOURAGING COPPER RESULTS AT PUNITAQUI MINE
Battery Mineral Resources Corp. has released encouraging drill core assay results from the 2021 exploration and infill drill program at the Punitaqui mine complex in Chile. Punitaqui is slated for resumption of production mid- to late 2022. The San Andres target is one of several historic zones within Battery Mineral's Punitaqui project with partially delineated resources and established underground access.
- Final assay results from San Andres drill holes SAS-21-14, 15, 17, 20, 23 and 24 have been returned with encouraging results as follows:
- Drill hole SAS-21-14: 28.1 metres at 0.98 per cent copper (Cu) from 203 m down hole including 10.1 m at 1.44 per cent Cu and a second intercept of 9.4 m grading 1.24 per cent Cu from 227 m;
- Drill hole SAS-21-15: three m at 0.5 per cent Cu from 116 m, three m grading 0.48 per cent Cu from 133 m and a third interval of two m at 0.51 per cent Cu from 139 m;
- Drill hole SAS-21-17: 3.6 m at 1.04 per cent Cu from 241 m;
- Drill hole SAS-21-20: 2.4 m at 0.70 per cent Cu from 266.9 m;
- Drill hole SAS-21-23: 2.8 m at 1 per cent Cu from 194 m;
- Drill hole SAS-21-24: three m at 0.82 per cent Cu from 231 m;
- Final complete multielement results were received for previously reported holes SAS-21-19 and 21:
- Drill hole SAS-21-19: five m at 1.08 per cent Cu from 74 m including four m at 1.24 per cent Cu;
- Drill hole SAS-21-21: 25 m at 0.88 per cent Cu from 106 m including 13 m at 0.96 per cent Cu and four m at 1.19 per cent Cu from 115 m and a second main intercept of two m at 1.12 per cent Cu from 136 m;
- 29 of the San Andres drill holes reached target depth and 21 have intersected significant mineralization and results have been received for 24 drill holes;
- The San Andres drill program is designed to confirm resources identified by previous drilling programs and expand these resources north and south along strike and at depth;
- Earlier results from the current program included:
- SAS-21-01: three m grading 1.52 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-03: 11 m at 1.39 per cent Cu including eight m at 1.63 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-04: 16.7 m grading 1.37per cent Cu including 11.7 m at 1.64 per cent Cu and a second interval of nine m at 1.75 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-05: nine m at 2.06 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-07: 3.4 m at 2.10 per cent Cu and a second interval of four m at 1.56 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-08: 5.3 m at 1.39 per cent Cu and a second interval of 3.8 m at 1.85 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-11: two m at 0.91 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-12: seven m at 1.81 per cent Cu and a second intercept of two m grading 1.04 per cent Cu;
- SAS-21-13: three m at 1.96 per cent Cu from 217 m down hole, three m grading 0.87 er cent Cu from 199 m and a third interval of 1.8 m at 0.83 per cent Cu from 211 m;
- San Andres is the "normal" fault displaced upper portion of the adjacent Cinabrio copper deposit that is part of Punitaqui which typically produced between 20 million and 25 million pounds of copper annually for nine-plus years by Glencore and Xiana Mining.
Battery chief executive officer Martin Kostuik states: "There are very few companies around the world that have the opportunity to transition from development into potential resumption of copper production in the second half of 2022 and we are thrilled be one of them. Our recent acquisition of the former-producing Punitaqui copper mine in Chile will give our investors an opportunity to participate in a potentially significant rerating in Battery Mineral's valuation as we transition from development to operations and positive cash-flowing. The development of Punitaqui toward a restart is progressing well on all fronts such as drilling, engineering and permit modifications and we look forward to presenting the restart plan for the mine in Q1 2022. In addition, we believe these new drilling results demonstrate that this program has the potential to provide the company with an additional source of copper ore along with existing ore at the adjacent Cinabrio mine. We look forward to providing further exciting updates for the drill program as we progress toward a potential near-term resumption of operations and cash flow at Punitaqui."
San Andres drill program
- Currently, four drills are operating at Punitaqui -- two at San Andres and two at Dalmacia;
- 6,484 metres of diamond core drilling in 31 drill holes have been completed at San Andres.
Sample assay results, reported herein, are from five drill holes and are in addition to the results reported previously from the first eight drill holes completed at San Andres. These results are only partial and additional significant intervals may be reported from these same holes when complete results are received.
Drill hole SAS-21-14 was designed to test the San Andres targeted stratigraphic unit (TSU) 120 m up dip from the SAS-21-07 intercept (3.4 m at 2.10 per cent Cu and a second interval of four m at 1.56 per cent Cu). This up-dip test resulted in two intercepts that were significantly wider than the deeper intercepts; 28.1 m at 0.98 per cent Cu and 3.3 g/t Ag from 203 m including 10.1 m at 1.44 per cent Cu and 1.4 g/t Ag from 203 m and a second intercept of 9.4 m grading 1.24 per cent Cu and 3.4 g/t Ag from 227 m.
Drill hole SAS-21-15 targeted the TSU about 150 m along strike to the south of historic intercept SAS-17-06 (eight m at 2.30 per cent Cu and four m at 1.87 per cent Cu). Twenty-five m of the TSU was drilled with chalcopyrite mineralization throughout and produced assays of three m at 0.5 per cent Cu and 8.3 g/t Ag from 116 m, three m grading 0.48 per cent Cu and six g/t Ag from 133 m and a third interval of two m at 0.51 per cent Cu from 139 m.
Drill hole SAS-21-17 was planned to test the targeted stratigraphic unit 50 metres down dip of the high-grade intercept in SAS-21-05 (nine m at 2.06 per cent Cu). The hole produced an eight m interval of volcanoclastic sediments where disseminated chalcopyrite and native copper in veinlets were noted within the intercept that produced assays of 3.6 m at 1.04 per cent Cu and one g/t Ag from 241 m.
Drill hole SAS-21-19 was designed as a stepout from SAS-21-11 to test the TSU 60 m south along strike and down dip. The drill hole intersected a 26 m section of the TSU with disseminated chalcopyrite mineralization throughout. Assays reported included five m at 1.08 per cent Cu and two g/t Ag from 74 m including four m at 1.24 per cent Cu and 2.2 g/t Ag.
Drill hole SAS-21-20 was designed to test the TSU down dip of historic hole SAS-21-07 (3.4 m at 2.10 per cent Cu). The new hole intercepted 2.5 m of shaley sediments with copper oxides noted that resulted in an assay of 2.4 m at 0.70 per cent Cu from 266.9 m.
Drill hole SAS-21-21 tested the targeted stratigraphic unit up dip of historic drill holes SAS-19-09 and SAS-20-01. The TSU was intercepted from 222 m and extended 15 m to 237 m. It intercepted shale-sandstone with variable chalcopyrite and bornite as disseminated sulphides and copper-bearing veinlets. The mineralized horizon produced significant results from two main intervals. They are 25 m at 0.88 per cent Cu and 14.9 g/t Ag from 106 m including 13 m at 0.96 per cent Cu and 21.8 g/t Ag from 106 m and including four m at 1.19 per cent Cu and 20.1 g/t Ag and a second main intercept of two m at 1.12 per cent Cu and 18.2 g/t Ag from 136 m.
Drill hole SAS-21-23 was designed to test the TSU 60 m up dip of mineralization intercepted in SAS-21-14 (28.1 m at 0.98 per cent Cu and 3.3 g/t Ag including 10.1 m at 1.44 per cent Cu and 1.4 g/t Ag and a second intercept of 9.4 m grading 1.24 per cent Cu and 3.4 g/t Ag). The hole intercepted a seven m interval of the TSU which yielded an assay of 2.8 m at 1 per cent Cu and 8.7 g/t Ag from 194 m.
Drill hole SAS-21-24 tested the targeted stratigraphic unit 60 m down dip of SAS-21-09 (19 m at 1.60 per cent Cu and 13.1 g/t Ag) in the southern part of the San Andres zone. The hole returned 14.4 m of the TSU that produced three m at 0.82 per cent Cu and 1.7 g/t Ag from 231 m.
Background -- San Andres target
The San Andres target is part of the Punitaqui project which is situated within a 25-kilometre-long mineralized district that is a classic iron-oxide, copper-gold deposit (IOCG) and mantos-style copper belt that comprises mantos and structural controlled copper-gold-silver veins. San Andres is a zone of copper mineralization located 500 m southwest of the high-grade Cinabrio deposit mined by Glencore and Xiana Mining.
Prior to 1998, only limited extraction of high-grade copper oxides was undertaken at San Andres by small groups of local miners. In 2000, a Chilean national company La Empressa Nacional de Mineria (ENAMI) developed two underground exploration drives targeting copper sulphides. In 2005, via an option process, San Andres became part of the Punitaqui mine complex.
In 2007, a ground geophysical induced polarization (IP) survey was completed on 250 m to 500 m spaced lines across the San Andres-Cinabrio area. The results of the IP survey line across the southern end of the San Andres zone identified a strong chargeability anomaly interpreted to represent potential extensions of the copper sulphide mineralization at depth and along strike. Historic wide-spaced drilling completed by the previous operators between 2011 and 2017 totalled 58 holes for 5,927 m.
San Andres is a tabular sedimentary horizon within a volcanic sequence. This sedimentary horizon is variably mineralized and has a variable width ranging from five m to 30 m. It consists of an interlayered volcano-sedimentary sequence composed of dark coloured laminated and unlaminated shales, volcanoclastic sandstone, conglomerates and breccias and tuff breccias. There is a variable component of syngenetic pyrite. The horizon dips 40 to 50 degrees to the east and is cut-off at depth by the moderately west-dipping San Andres fault.
Mineralization consists of veinlets and irregular disseminations in both the fine- and coarse-grained clastic rocks and locally within the volcanic rocks above and below the host unit. The host horizon is also cut and offset by other faults with a wide range of orientations. The fundamental orientations identified to date include:
- Moderately west-dipping splays of the San Andres fault, generally with downward and westward movement;
- Steep-dipping northeast- to northwest-trending faults with both sinistral and dextral offsets;
- Faults parallel and subparallel to stratigraphy.
Sample preparation, analysis and security procedures applied on the Battery Mineral's exploration projects is aligned with industry best practice. Battery Mineral's has implemented protocols and procedures to ensure high-quality collection and management of samples resulting in reliable exploration assay data. Battery Mineral has implemented formal analytical quality control monitoring for all field sampling and drilling programs by inserting blanks and certified reference materials into every sample sequence dispatched.
Sample preparation is performed ALS Global -- geochemistry analytical lab in La Serena, Chile, and sample analyses by ALS in Lima, Peru. ALS analytical facilities are commercial laboratories and are independent from Battery Mineral. All Battery mineral samples are collected and packaged by Battery Mineral staff and delivered upon receipt at the ALS laboratory. Samples are logged in a sophisticated laboratory information management system for sample tracking, scheduling, quality control and electronic reporting. Samples are dried then crushed to 70 per cent less than minus-two millimetres and a riffle split of 250 grams is then pulverized to 85 per cent of the material achieving a size of less than 75 microns. These prepared samples are then shipped to the ALS laboratory in Lima, Peru, for analyses by the following methods:
- ME-MS61: a high-precision, multiacid digest including hydrofluoric, nitric, perchloric and hydrochloric acids. Analyzed by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry that produces results for 48 elements;
- ME-OG62: aqua-regia digest: analyzed by ICP-AES (atomic emission spectrometry) or sometimes called optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) for high levels of Co, Cu, Ni and Ag.
Certified standards are inserted into sample batches by ALS. Blanks and duplicates are inserted within each analytical run. The blank is inserted at the beginning, certified standards are inserted at random intervals, and duplicates are analyzed at the end of the batch.
Michael Schuler, Battery Mineral Chile exploration manager, supervised the preparation of and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release pertaining to the Punitaqui exploration drill program. Mr. Schuler is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
About Battery Mineral Resources Corp.
A battery mineral company with high-quality assets providing shareholders exposure to the global mega-trend of electrification and focused on growth through cash flow, exploration and acquisitions in the world's top mining jurisdictions. Battery is currently developing the Punitaqui mining complex and pursuing the potential near-term resumption of operations for second half of 2022 at the prior-producing Punitaqui copper-gold mine. The Punitaqui copper-gold mine most recently produced approximately 21,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in 2019 and is located in the Coquimbo region of Chile.
Battery is engaged in the discovery, acquisition and development of battery metals (cobalt, lithium, graphite, nickel and copper), in North and South America and South Korea with the intention of becoming a premier and sustainable supplier of battery minerals to the electrification marketplace. Battery is the largest mineral claim holder in the historic Gowganda cobalt-silver camp, Canada, and continues to pursue a focused program to build on the recently announced, plus-one-million-pound high-grade cobalt resource at McAra by testing over 50 high-grade primary cobalt silver-nickel-copper targets. In addition, Battery owns 100 per cent of ESI Energy Services Inc., also known as Ozzie's, a pipeline equipment rental and sales company with operations in Leduc, Alta., and Phoenix, Ariz.
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